The High Court has framed rule against the Principal Secretary Education Department and issued notice to time to show cause as to why he be not punished for committing the contempt of court for wilful disobedience and non-compliance of court judgment.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar has directed the Registry to frame a rule against Bishwajit Kumar Singh, Principal Secretary to Government, Education Department for non-compliance of court judgment passed in the year 2015. Court also directed the Registry to issue show cause notice to him to explain as to why he shall not be punished for committing the contempt of court.
He has also been directed to remain present in person before the court on the next date of hearing to explain his position.
Court said the judgment passed in 2015 still awaits compliance by the respondent-contemnor and almost 7 years have passed, the respondent has been avoiding to comply with the judgment on one pretext or the other.
The petitioner way back in 2016, feeling aggrieved by the non-compliance of the judgment filed the contempt petition and seeking to initiate contempt proceedings against the respondent-contemnor.
On being put on notice in the contempt petition, the respondent filed a compliance report and also placed on record a copy of Government Order No. 386-Edu of 2016 dated 05.10.2016, in terms whereof, the claim of the petitioners was rejected. The Court hearing the contempt petition, however, did not accept the compliance report and prima facie found the respondents having committed the contempt of this Court.
Accordingly vide order dated 23.05.2018, notice was issued to the respondents to show cause as to why they should not be punished for committing the contempt of Court. The said order was called in question by the respondents before the Division Bench which was dismissed by the Division Bench in 2020 as not maintainable.
The Division Bench also concurred with the view taken by the Single Bench whereby it had rejected the compliance report and the consideration order dated 05.10.2016 placed on record and clarified that, other than determining the eligibility of the petitioners to hold the posts of Headmaster under the Jammu and Kashmir Education (Gazetted) Service Recruitment Rules from a particular date, there was no option with the authorities other than regularizing the services of petitioners as Head Master retrospectively from the date they had officiated against the said posts.
Thereafter, several opportunities were prayed for by the respondent-authority and were granted by the Court from time to time. It was in May 2022, the Court gave the respondent two weeks last and final opportunity to file the compliance report indicating the manner in which the case of the petitioners had been considered, providing further that in case the updated compliance report was not filed, the Commissioner-Secretary to Government, School Education Department, would appear in person on the next date of hearing.
As is apparent from order dated 07.05.2022, the last opportunity of two weeks was granted pursuant to the statement made by Government counsel, appearing for the respondent, that the DPC was scheduled to be convened on 13.03.2022 and she was not aware as to whether the case of the petitioners had been placed before it and considered or not.
The respondent-contemnor has now filed the compliance report and has also placed on record a copy of Government Order dated 27.06.2022 in which he has reiterated his earlier stand that the case of the petitioners stood considered in the DPC, held in the year 2012, in pursuance of which, the consideration order i.e Government Order No. 386-Edu of 2016 dated 05.10.2016 was passed least realizing that the earlier compliance report filed and the Government Order dated 05.10.2016 placed on record stood rejected by both the Single Bench as well as the Division Bench of this Court.
“The respondent-contemnor is adamant on his stand and has, thus, committed clear contempt of this Court. The judgment, of which violation is alleged in this contempt petition, was passed on 28.07.2015, whereas the DPC by the respondent-Department stood convened in the year 2012 and the promotions of Masters as Head Masters stood made vide Government Order No. 318 Edu of 2012 dated 02.08.2012. For the reasons best known to the respondent, the aforesaid Government order was not set up as a defence in the writ petition”, Justice Kumar said.